Paul's Place holds gala after 25 years

SCENE & HEARD

March 18, 2007|By SLOANE BROWN

For a 25th birthday party, there sure were a lot of "proud parents" gathered on the mezzanine at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

But then, this party wasn't for just anyone. This was a celebration for Paul's Place, which had started 25 years ago in Pigtown serving meals to those in need. Now, it offers a range of programs for the neighborhood's impoverished families.

While there have been various Paul's Place fundraisers over the years, in honor of its 25th anniversary its supporters were throwing their first gussied-up gala.

"The number of people here is incredible. When we started, we didn't have anything formal," said longtime Paul's Place supporter and Graul's Market owner, Harold Graul.

"As Paul's Place evolved, we didn't want to put on a bash that went against its mission," explained board member Kathleen Talty. "But tonight is a celebration."

Proudly overseeing it all were Suzanne Watkins and Nora Yaggy, who co-chaired the party with husbands Jay Watkins and Michael Yaggy.

"This has just been a tremendous group effort," said Nora Yaggy.

A Drink With Marty Bass

Making the most of the good, the bad

WJZ-TV Morning Edition co-host Marty Bass, 54, is one of Baltimore's best-known TV personalities. He grew up in Louisville, Ky. But he has called Baltimore home since 1977, when he was brought here by Channel 13 to do weekend weather and feature reporting. He lives in Brooklandville with wife Sharon, daughter Savannah, 16, and son Jake, 11.

You're more than just a weather guy at WJZ. How do you describe what you do?

I throw myself into the breach every day. Essentially, I do the weather on the morning show. ... But, over the years, I've become the ringmaster of tomfoolery. Sometimes, I'm a guy who's just waking up and hearing the news for the first time and just has to say something. ... But, generally, I'm a guy who sits out there and just tries to be real and honest. It's first thing in the morning. There's no time for an act.

Do you ever get into trouble at work for being you?

Sometimes. I'll say something that will upset a viewer. There are "hate Marty" [people] out there that are just waiting for me to say something so they can [complain] about it.

You're the person they love to hate.

It's very Howard Cosell to me. ... It's really peculiar that they watch, because they don't like me. If this turns out to be a good Marty article, it has the exact same weight to me as if an article appears that says, "He's a jerk, and why is he still on TV in Baltimore?" You have to take the good with the bad, and if you don't, you're a coward.

Does anyone ever approach you and actually tell you they don't like you?

Yes. It's not the norm. And sometimes I wonder why they feel it's their right to be rude. But I do pay attention. I'm telling you, there are a couple of times when people have approached me and I've changed my act.

You get recognized a lot.

Everywhere. And it's good. If you're in this business and don't want to be recognized, you've got a mental problem.

How does your family handle it?

For the most part, very well. Sharon is a people person and enjoys meeting different people. If somebody gets just common, she'll stand by her man.

If tomorrow, nobody recognized you any more, would that be tough for you?

I'm not sure I have an answer. ... I think most people in the business would say, "No, I've had my run. I'm gone." But, I'm not sure. It wouldn't be the end of the world.

Do you feel your life is too much of an open book?

No, because I chose this life willingly.

So, when you have downtime at home, what do you like to do?

I like to sit in bed. Eat Cheetos. Drink Diet Coke. And watch the Discovery or History Channel.

What are your passions?

My kids. ... There's not a morning that goes by -- I could be running late, it doesn't matter -- before I walk out of that house, I kiss him, I kiss her. It gives me every ounce of strength I need. It's all about them.

Do you have a life credo?

(He points to a T-shirt hanging above the bar that reads "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead.") There's a guy I met years ago, an Italian tile guy, who said, "Get hot or go home." It's a tie between those two.

Social Calendar

TUESDAY

29TH ANNUAL COURAGE AWARD GALA

Benefits Ed Block Courage Award Foundation

Black tie optional

Where:

Martin's West

When:

5:30 p.m.

Tickets:

$150

Information:

410-821-6252 or edblock.org

SATURDAY

STARRY NIGHT II: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Benefits Stadium School Youth Dreamers

Cocktail attire

Where:

The Creative Alliance at The Patterson

When:

6:30 p.m.

Tickets:

$35, $50, $100

Information:

410-952-7003 or youthdreamers.org

BLACK TIE & BLUE JEANS -- DINNER & CONCERT WITH EMMYLOU HARRIS

Benefits United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland

Black tie/blue jeans

Where:

Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

When:

6:30 p.m.

Tickets:

$300, 8 p.m. concert only $50-$75

Information:

410-484-4540, Ext. 4090 or ucpdreams.org

PEARLS, FEATHERS, SPATS & HATS GALA

Benefits Casey Cares Foundation

Roaring '20s/business casual attire

Where:

Grand Lodge, in Hunt Valley

When:

7 p.m.

Tickets:

$100

Information:

443-568-0064, Ext. 224 or caseycaresfoundation.org

MOTOWN MAGIC

Benefits South Baltimore Learning Center

Black tie optional

Where:

Montgomery Park Business Center

When:

7 p.m.

Tickets:

$100

Information:

410-625-4215

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